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Twitter is currently all abuzz with teachers requesting contributions for their school supply lists. Many have wish lists on Amazon or other platforms. They post on Twitter hoping for more people to see the needs and offer support.

Yet, Jeff Bezos launched himself into space this week. Where is the equity here? Don’t get me wrong, I admire Bezos’ ingenuity, commitment, and innovation. He has built an amazing company on his own from the ground up, and he had the vision to go to space as a civilian. These are amazing accomplishments.

My problem is with a society that allows…

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So many of us, educators and parents alike, were hoping for a “normal” return to school this fall. Many of us were likely even expecting our routines and practices to return to the pre-covid-19 pace. With new covid-19 variants, however, we seem to be again looking at a fall of uncertainty. As educators, how do we approach such a school year?

Presently, it seems likely many of us can plan on wearing masks again even if vaccinated. Since students under 12 do not have the opportunity to be vaccinated, the American Pediatric Association just recommended students should be masked indoors…

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2020 was awful. I was desperate for inspiration. I needed a breakthrough, and I wanted to get “unstuck” from my current life. So, I registered for Tony Robbins’ New Year New World 5 day virtual workshop that he offered for free.

While I watched the Tony Robbin’s Netflix documentary and dabbled in a few soundbites, I really had no idea what his messaging would be. I knew he was a coach with energy, and I knew he offered tools for success. Nothing more. Wanting a new perspective for my life in 2021, I registered. …

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Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos are launching themselves into space this month. Branson and Bezos did not achieve success by “following the rules” or scoring high on standardized tests. Yet, they are the most successful self-made men on the planet. These men used imagination, creativity, and grit to take leaps and bounds beyond the rest of us.

How do we prepare our students to live in a world such as this? A world with space tourism? Seriously, how can we all live with ourselves if we continue to teach using a system developed over 100 years ago? What will our…

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“Mom, I am still so exhausted, “ I said after 2 full weeks of my summer vacation.

“Well, you have had quite a rollercoaster ride over the last 18 months. You can’t expect to recover after only 2 weeks,” was her wise response.

I had been expecting to feel better and more energized after a week away from school like I usually did in the summer. Yet, I had not experienced a normal school year. As my mother put it, I had not experienced a normal 18 months.

Languid and unmotivated, I found myself mindlessly scrolling through Twitter as I…

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When my school announced the plan to move from a virtual to a hybrid teaching model last fall, I was apprehensive. One of my colleagues, however, was delighted. She said, “This will be great! We will have two days (Monday-Tuesday) with a slower pace at home to ease into the week, then three days (Wednesday-Friday) of seemingly normal life and getting to see everyone. Just enough time to be with people before I become exhausted from being around them again!”

So for the past several months, my school has been operating on this hybrid schedule. Two days of the week…

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Over the course of the past year, I have heard the phrase, “a failure in imagination” replayed over and over in news and expert interviews. From our failure to imagine the pandemic to our failure to imagine citizens may not heed expert advice to the failure to imagine the actions of white supremacist groups. This year, Americans have failed to imagine the possibility of challenges and also effective solutions for the most dire circumstances.

We have been woefully unprepared to face the most challenging situations of our lifetime. And yet, Americans are often noted for their ingenuity. Consider the inventions…

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Who came up with the idea of teaching bimodally this year? Who thought this might be an effective means to teach our K-12 children? Really, I want to know if that person was an educator. Did they think this experience through, or was it just a quick decision in a tough moment that everyone latched onto? And, why did everyone latch onto it? Was there no one who thought this concept through to the actual presentation?

What I imagine the inventor of the concept thought was this: A teacher can have technology access to welcome students into the classroom from…

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I have been teaching on a hybrid schedule since October. Teachers have been on edge and walking on eggshells in hopes the virus will not spread in schools. So, it was with great delight my colleagues and I learned Governor Hogan moved educators up to the second group on the vaccine list. The process moved so quickly that within a week of Hogan’s decision every educator in my school had appointments to be vaccinated.

I anxiously awaited the vaccination day as anyone would. I was extraordinarily careful all week to ensure I had no symptoms and was healthy enough to…

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Will 2021 be a better year? Are we on a path back to normalcy? Will we once again be able to connect with friends, laugh at jokes, and live without constant fear? Will 2021 be the dawning of a new day? We are all so anxious for 2021 to save us.

Our 2020 challenges were daunting. Living with a highly contagious virus has been traumatic. So many of us became severely ill, and so many died. Not only have we lived with loss of “normalcy”, we have had to live with loss due to death.

Yes, 2020 was a year…

Jennifer Smith

Dreamer. Water lover. Educator. And mom. @Jennifer_Smith5

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